Squash Risotto with Taleggio & Fried Sage Leaves

Butternut squash risotto.  Hardly a new idea, I know.  You’ve probably been seeing it on restaurant menus every fall and winter for decades.  You probably already have your own way of making it at home.  Why should you bother reading about this risotto rendition?

I’ll tell you why.  Because tonight you are going to bypass the Gorgonzola Dolce that you’d usually put on top and opt for a super stinky, creamy Taleggio instead.  You’ll grate the squash and let it get as silky and creamy as the rice.  You’ll go ahead and take the extra thirty seconds it takes to fry a couple of sage leaves to add a little contrast, a bit of crunch.  Then you’ll sit back and realize there will always be room in your heart (and tummy) for another bowl of butternut squash risotto.

Just a few ingredients: rice, shallots, sage, cheese.  You’ll also need wine, broth, butter, and oil, but they’re a little camera-shy.

Prepping is super easy.  Just shred the squash, dice the shallot, and you are ready for pan-action.

You probably know the drill- heat some oil and butter, saute your shallot, add some arborio rice, get a little toasty.  A splash of white wine for the pan, a splash for the cook.  In goes the squash, slowly add broth.  Don’t rush it, don’t ignore it too long.  It’ll be worth the trouble, I swear.

Heat a touch of oil and fry your sage leaves until they are crispy and fragrant.  Look at you, fancy pants!  Now you have two garnishes for your dinner: fried sage leaves and an infused sage oil to drizzle over the top.

Put it all together.  Risotto, spoonful (or two) of melty Taleggio, crispy sage leaves, a touch of herb oil.  Yeah, that’s right.  It’s good.  Real good.

Squash Risotto with Taleggio & Fried Sage Leaves
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a first course. Leftover risotto can be formed into a cakes or croquettes for a delicious lunch.
Serves: 4-6
  • 1½ c. Arborio Rice (short grained Italian rice)
  • 1½ c. Butternut Squash, grated (fast in the food processor or use box grater)
  • 2 medium Shallots, minced
  • ½ c. Dry White Wine
  • 4-5 c. Vegetable or Chicken Broth, hot
  • 3 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, divided
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • few sprigs Fresh Sage, divided
  • Taleggio Cheese (as much as you like!)
  1. Heat 1 Tbsp.olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in wide sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Add minced shallots, season with salt, and saute until translucent.
  3. Add rice and saute until it takes on a little golden color and makes a "click" sound as you stir it around the pan, about 1 minute.
  4. Add wine and allow rice to absorb.
  5. Reduce heat to medium-low and add 1 c. of the hot broth, grated squash, and a sprig of sage.
  6. Cook over medium-low heat, about 45 minutes, stirring often and adding more broth as the pan becomes dry. Taste and season as necessary with salt and coarse black pepper. The risotto is done when the rice is cooked to a creamy consistency but still has a little firmness in the very center of the grain.
  7. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in small sauce pan and fry sage leaves until crisp and fragrant. Removes leaves and sprinkle with salt, reserve oil.
  8. Divide risotto among warm plates. Top each portion with a spoonful of Taleggio and a couple fried sage leaves. Drizzle with reserved sage oil.



  1. Pam says

    Looks yummy and reminds me of the first time you ever made me risotto – on my 48th birthday just after you got home from Florence! Very memorable meal – the ultimate comfort food made by the ultimate cook and her little sister!

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